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The pulse-stream technique, which represents neural states as sequences of pulses, is reviewed. Several general issues are raised, and generic methods appraised, for pulsed encoding, arithmetic, and intercommunication schemes. Two contrasting synapse designs are presented and compared. The first is based on a fully analog computational form in which the only digital component is the signaling mechanism itself-asynchronous, pulse-rate encoded digital voltage pulses. In this circuit, multiplication occurs in the voltage/current domain. The second design uses more conventional digital memory for weight storage, with synapse circuits based on pulse stretching. Integrated circuits implementing up to 15000 analog, fully programmable synaptic connections are described. A demonstrator project is described in which a small robot localization network is implemented using asynchronous, analog, pulse-stream devices.

Original publication




Journal article


IEEE transactions on neural networks

Publication Date





193 - 204


Dept. of Electr. Eng., Edinburgh Univ.